Paisley: you jump Mr Adams, but I’m not breaking a leg…

The legislation is now through Westminster to get us up to and past Friday. Whether this is just sleight of and to get us into next year, and past the Secretary of State’s much publicised deadline this Friday remains to be seen. But Doctor Paisley is not going anywhere until and unless Sinn Fein signs up to policing.

  • Ian

    Mick,

    At time of writing the legislation is not yet through Westminster, only through the Commons.

    From the Irish TImes report:

    ‘Mr Hain warned that if the parties were not prepared to indicate their nominations on Friday for First and Deputy First Minister, “what is the point of proceeding”.’

    If Mr Hain already knows that the DUP and SF are going to be the two largest parties after the 7th of March, then what is the point of proceeding with the elections?

  • rut & Justice

    The Dr has played it the right way the pressure is on Sinn Fein to delivery on Policing, none of the weak UUP stuff of jumping first!

  • Chris Donnelly

    But Doctor Paisley is not going anywhere until and unless Sinn Fein signs up to policing.

    Mick

    And Sinn Fein will not likely go anywhere until the DUP sign up to devolved, accountable policing.

    Simply a re-assertion of stated positions.

    Republicans are as assured and confident in their position as the DUP. Getting past that will require an agreement on the latter to deliver the former.

    Now let’s see if the good Doctor is willing to deliver on that…

  • Ian

    Chris,

    I’d appreciate it if you’d read my contributions (posts 3, 5, 6 and 9) on the thread entitled, “On target dates and commitments – or deadlines and conditions” and see what you think of my suggestion to break the deadlock?

    If Fair Deal’s out there I’d much appreciate a response from the other side of the fence too.

  • Ian

    There’s an interesting slant in the latest report on the BBC website:

    “If the DUP does not indicate their nominees for first and deputy first minister on Friday there will be consequences, the government has said.”

    Paisley for FM and Robinson for DFM, I would imagine would be their swift response if that was an accurate description of what the SoS actually said!

  • Greenflag

    Somebody needs to tell Paisley and the DUP to go away or maybe something not as polite as that !

    They’ve never been for power sharing -nor for the GFA -nor for Sunningdale . The white painted crow soon shows black again .

    Direct rule followed by a form of Joint Authority until a formal ‘repartition’ of Northern Ireland can be implemented is the way to go from here. Leave the DUP to deal with the concerns of Unionists in a smaller NI State .

  • BeardyBoy

    You cannot really think repartition is a possibility – it would effectively mean a United Ireland as a 2 or 3 county enclave would be farcical – the English Parliament would never be as smart as that

  • Henry94

    BeardyBoy

    If the Agreement fails it may be the least worst option. Why the hell should people in Fermanagh and Tyrone be kept out of the Celtic Tiger because of people in Antrim who have no interest in making a rational accomodation with them.

  • Ian

    Henry94,

    Why the hell should nationalists in Belfast, south Down and the Glens of Antrim be doomed to another century of living in a failed political entity? Because that’s what re-partition effectively would consign them to. Whereas at the moment they at least hold out the hope of achieving their political ambition within their lifetimes.

  • Greenflag

    Ian,

    ‘Why the hell should nationalists in Belfast, south Down and the Glens of Antrim be doomed to another century of living in a failed political entity? Because that’s what re-partition effectively would consign them to. ‘

    No it would not . A neutral body drafting a new border would include South Down and at least West Belfast and parts of North and South Belfast in the Republic . This has been discussed at length before on Slugger. Go search the archives .

    ‘Whereas at the moment they at least hold out the hope of achieving their political ambition within their lifetimes. ‘

    BTW – Are Unionists allowed to have any hope of achieving their politcal ambition ? We all know that a 6 county NI is a failed political entity and that humpty dumpty cannot be put back on the wall 1969 style.

    The only question is what will replace it. The present ‘solution’ the SAA is just the status quo dressed up to mask continuing political and economic ‘stagnation’ ,and increased political sectarianism. NI will continue to fall further behind both the Irish Republic and most regions of the UK in economic performance under the SAA /GFA.

    Irish Nationalists in Northern Ireland may be bought off with the prospect of ‘political ‘ control short term in the western and southern areas of NI and perhaps Belfast , if the new seven super councils are implemented , but they’ll soon learn that that too will not be sufficient to do what needs to be done to wean their part of NI off continuiung public sector dependence and low private sector and foreign direct investment.

  • Greenflag

    Beardy Boy,

    ‘as a 2 or 3 county enclave would be farcical’

    Why would it be farcical ? It would be no more farcical and probably a lot less farcical than the present 6 county failed entity.

    A neutral international organisation such as the EU/UN would probably ‘repartition’ NI into a two county size Unionist State with the rest ceded to the Republic . The basis of such a Unionist State would be North Down, North Armagh , Antrim and East Belfast . Such a State would have a population larger than , and a territory twice as large as modern Luxembourg. It would also have a much reduced Irish nationalist minority about 10% down from 47% in the present 6 county NI.

    Luxembourg which is 95% nominally Catholic has the highest or second highest GDP per person in the EU and . Are you suggesting that Unionists could not become a ‘Protestant’ Luxembourg ?

  • Henry94

    It is likely that with a much smaller nationalist population unionists would feel more secure and govern in a more civilized manner than previously.

    And if you really don’t want to live under Orange rule I’m sure a healthy market in house-swaps will emerge because some unionists on the other side of the new border might feel the same.

  • Munsterman

    Henry94

    Are you advocating Re-Partition ?
    If so, why ?
    ( I had always assumed that you totally opposed to this ).

  • Ian

    Munsterman,

    Not only that, he appears to be advocating a form of ethnic cleansing.

  • Mike

    Why oh why oh why does Greenfalg insist on diverting almost every potentially interesting disucssion with his single transferable ‘repartition’ post?

    As I’ve said before – you support repartition. WE GET IT. Thank you.

  • Henry94

    Mike

    Why is greenflag the only one who gets attacked for repeating his position when we all do it.

    Munsterman

    I’m not for repartition. I’m for the Agreement. But if we can’t have the Agreement then I can see no future for the north. Direct rule, even with a Dublin input, will never bring anything other than a dole state with a dole mentality.

    If it comes to that then I think we should look at radical alternatives.

  • Munsterman

    Henry94

    I’m all for considering options but Re-Partition is not on, in my view.
    It was a catastrophe in 1920.
    Very few Nationalists in the country would support this – and probably very few Unionists too.

    Non-runner I’d say.

    Any other options ?

  • Greenflag

    Ian,

    ‘Not only that, he appears to be advocating a form of ethnic cleansing. ‘

    Complete and utter shite . A fair repartition administered by a neutral international organisation would not be ethnic cleansing. It would merely place the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic where it should have been in 1920 . That’s all . It leaves Unionists with a viable State in which ovewr 90 % of the population support the Union and thus would have sufficient popular support for the new State to be called a legitimate democracy . Likewise a 30 county sized Republic would have a similar percentage of support . Whatever arrangements such a 2 county sized State would have with it’s paymaster -the UK Exchequer would be it’s own business .

    Henry 94,

    ‘Direct rule, even with a Dublin input, will never bring anything other than a dole state with a dole mentality. ‘

    Correct. If Unionists want this – fine, but there’s absolutely no good reason why Irish Nationalists should be dragged along with them in the inevitable downward spiral of such a path. An agreed and fair repartition allows Nationalists to jump ship before the boat sinks!

  • Greenflag

    ‘I’m all for considering options but Re-Partition is not on, in my view. ‘

    Your view doesn’t matter . It’s been happening anyway for the past 20 or 30 years as we can see from the NI Census results and from every demographic report over the past decade or two’

    ‘It was a catastrophe in 1920. ‘

    Wrong . It was unfairly administered and left Northern Ireland with too big an Irish population (35%) to be a stable political entity . Thus it was necessary for Unionists to have their B Specials – paramilitary police and the whole Unionist /Orange Order cabal of secret societies to maintain political control . With Iriah Nationalists and Republicans now at 47% of the NI population and no longer quiescent the old Unionist game is up. All that matters is it’s replacement . A united Ireland is not a possibility given almost total Unionist opposition and Unionist majority rule in Northern Ireland ceased to be an option in 1972. GIven that situation and the fact that the largest party in Unionism the DUP have always been against power sharing not just with SF but historically even with the SDLP then there remains only one route for Northern Irish Nationalists to take and that route is not the SAA nor a devolved NI powerless Assembly.

  • Greenflag

    Mike.

    ‘Why is greenflag the only one who gets attacked for repeating his position when we all do it. ‘

    For three reasons Henry ,
    1) The pro SAA /GFA would rather not consider any other type solution than carbon copies of every other ‘solution’ which has failed over the past 35 years .

    2) Republicans don’t like it because it does not fit in with their 32 county UI dream of catholic ,protestant and dissenter . The fact that 97% of the NI protestants and dissenters see the republican dream as a nightmare appears not to have registered or else it’s wished away .

    3)Die hard Unionists resent any mention of ‘repartition’ as a solution because it forces them to admit what they would rather not namely that the 6 county NI State was never a democratically legitimate entity and that from it’s beginning it was destined to fail .

    The opposition to a fair repartition solution is made up then of people who prefer to continue t make the same mistakes that were made in the 1970’s , 80’s and 90’s and those who naively believe that a UI is just around the corner as well as those who believe that a 6 county NI will forever remain part of the UK .

    Thye can disguise it anyway they want e.g it’s impractical-can’t be done -etc etc . This is of course complete and utter shite . A team of cartographers could do the job within a couple of months using modern technology allied to census results .

    Repartition of Northern Ireland is not a radical alternative – It’s the best alternative for Northern Nationalists and Republicans and also for those Unionists who cherish their British political link .

  • Beardyboy

    Cant see it Green Flag – what you are saying is that Antrim, North Down, North Armagh and half of Belfast (or something like this) becomes a wee luxembourgish statelet. Cannot see it being viable – even in Antrim the wee Glens folk would be an irritant – Belfast population may be changing – it is storing up trouble for the future and I think – (tempting though it may be for todays politicians to push trouble away for another generation to deal with) – the resolve in Dublin and London is to get something cobbled together which will have some stability built in. They will of course fail. But I do not think repartition will be acceptable to them. As a Glens Nationalist I would not stand in the way of my people in Tyrone and Fermanagh getting there freedom even if it meant I could not get mine and my children would not see theirs so partition would be reluctantly acceptable but I know it will not happen. The super councils will be de facto repartition, and given time they may make it de jure. In fact what happens if there is a block vote by the west of the bann to join the free counties – does democracy expressed in such a manner carry weight?

  • Greenflag

    Beardy Boy,

    ‘Cannot see it being viable ‘

    Why does it have to be viable ? The present 6 county unit is not viable . Take away HMG’s subvention and the average living standard in NI woulld drop somewhere in between that of Greece and Slovakia’

    ‘ even in Antrim the wee Glens folk would be an irritant ‘

    But no more than that . The point is that 90% of the population of the new State would be Unionist thus making it politically and constitutionally viable even if it remains an economic disadvantaged zone.

    Anyway it would be up to a neutral international organisation to draw up the new border and perhaps the Glens might be included in a larger Republic as a
    exchange for some mainly Unionist area on the other side ?

    Given the 40 year search for an acceptable agreement and the failure of all parties to reach a settlement then it’s time to look for another way .

    The republican quest quest for a UI has cost 4,000 lives and billions in property damage . The republican seeking a UI is a bit like new golfer who was always having dreams of having to make his pitch with the ball placed in a difficult position . Sometimes the ball would be on a window ledge , or half under a rock or stuck in a tree . Yet each time the golfer would square up to have a go, just as he started his swing he would find that the ball had been moved to an even more awkward location . The stress level eventually became so great in these ‘dreams/nighmares that he was soon an insomniac .

    During one of his dreams somebody came over to him as he squared up to a ball stuck in between a large rock and a tree trunk.

    ‘Move the ball’ said somebody.

    Repartition is the same . The ball just needs to be moved . From a 32 hole course to a 30 (approx) one .

    Anyway how bad can it be living in the beautiful Glens of Antrim even if it’s still part of a political UK ? Could be worse ? You would still be free to travel, you would still be entitled to Irish citizenship /passport and if you ever wished it you would be free to move anywhere else on the island . You and the new Unionist ‘minority’ in the Republic would even have an ‘advantage’ over the Unionist majority in the new State . You would both have equal access to Irish and British citizenship whereas members of the Unionist majority in the new State would if they so wished have to apply for Irish citizenship in the same way that present citizens of the Irish Republic have to apply for British citizenship if they needed /wanted to !

  • Henry94

    Now greenflag, golfing analogies are only going to alienate people who were willing to consider your idea.